Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPNChicago.com reporter Jeff Dickerson stops by to chat about the Chicago Bears.
Dickerson is a Bears beat reporter and weeknight host on ESPN 1000.
Send your questions now and join Dickerson Monday at 1 p.m. CT/2 ET!
Jeff Dickerson (2:00 PM)
Thrilled to be here for the next hour. Can't believe free agency is only 6 days old...feels like it's been longer.
Tom (Oak Lawn)
When does Urlacher become a priority if ever?
Jeff Dickerson (2:01 PM)
Tom, I think it's safe to say Urlacher wasn't one of the Bears' top priorities in free agency, those were Martellus Bennett and Jermon Bushrod. That doesn't mean the Bear still don't want Urlacher back, I just get the feeling the team is not going to offer much above the veteran minimum, if it all. That's the issue.
Any chance the Bears sign Brandon Moore or Kevin Boothe? The Bears have NO one starting at OG right now and both guys are still on the market.
Jeff Dickerson (2:05 PM)
I really think the Bears stil need help at OG, even if they bring back Lance Louis. But the team doesn't have much money to spend. There was nothing cooking with Brandon Moore as of this morning. That's the same answer I got last week in regards to Boothe. Maybe that changes. We'll see.
With Roach leaving zia free agency, have we seen Urlacher's value to the bears increase? How will this effect the amount of money Emery is willing to spend on the future HOFer?
Jeff Dickerson (2:08 PM)
I don't really get that sense. It sounds as if the Bears have a price in mind for Urlacher and they're not going to budge much. If Urlacher will play for that dollar amount, great. If not, he might be forced to sign someplace else. I like Dallas as a destination for Urlacher, but the Cowboys currently have almost zero cap space. Jerry Jones will have to make some moves to loosen that up.
Do you think the Bears overpaid for Bushrod? I still think they should've gone after Long. The Bears paid 7 mill/yr for Bushrod when they couldve had Long for 2 more mill.
Jeff Dickerson (2:12 PM)
But remember, the Bears didn't have a ton of cap space to begin with, so that $2 million a year more could have cost them Martellus Bennett. Long seems risky to me because of his health and performance the last two years. Now, when we get to 2015 and Bushrod starts making close to $6 million and over for the final couple of years of his contract, there could be an argument the Bears paid too much. But if nothing else, Bushrod should be a big upgrade over J'Marcus Webb. If not, oh brother, that would be bad news.
Mike (Ingleside )
What do you see the bear more likely doing, Signing a back up Qb or drafting and developing one? who are some names to watch out for?
Jeff Dickerson (2:14 PM)
I love the idea of drafting a QB for the future, but I question whether a rookie QB would be ready to step in this year if Cutler goes down. To me, it makes more sense to sign a veteran for the minimum, like Jason Campbell (if he accepts that kind of offer) or Josh McCown. That way, if you don't find the QB you want in the draft, at least you're protected somewhat. I'm sure the Bears would like a decision on the No. 2 QB by this week if they're going to sign a guy in free agency.
Austin lake in the hills [via mobile]
Brandon Marshall had hip surgery during the offseason? Will he be ready to go by training camp?
Jeff Dickerson (2:15 PM)
Yes. I don't think training camp is an issue. The Bears begin their offseason program at the start of next month, so I can't say for sure that Marshall will be 100% by then, but training camp, yes, I think that's safe to assume.
Derek [via mobile]
Do you believe there is still any chance the bears used their first rounder on tyler eifert with the signing of martellus bennett ?
Jeff Dickerson (2:16 PM)
I don't think so. They could use another TE, but probably one of the blocking variety.
With Nick Roach gone looks like I'll be getting paid?
Jeff Dickerson (2:17 PM)
Not so sure about that...at least not from the Bears.
Has there been any effort to restructure/extend Brandon Marshall or Henry Melton?
Jeff Dickerson (2:18 PM)
I believe there will be discussions to extend Marshall's deal at some point. Not sure if theyt has happened yet, but I suspect it will. And I think the Bears will continue to work towards signing Melton to a long-term deal to free up cap space.
Any insight on the Lance Lewis situation and what are your thoughts on the Gabe Carimi project, ie better fit at Guard, another shot at RT or released?
Jeff Dickerson (2:23 PM)
It appears the Dolphins are serious about signing a RG. Louis visited Miami last week. If they weren't scared off by his ACL tear from last year, I'd surprised if they weren't interested. When healthy, he's a talented player. I'm sure the Bears would like him back, but what do you pay a guy coming off a knee injury? Carimi is going to get a look at both guard and tackle this summer. At this point, I really don't know what is his best fit. Not sure the Bears do either.
HOPE FOR FITZPATRIC AS BACK UP QB CAN THAT BE POSSIBLE ???
Jeff Dickerson (2:24 PM)
I don't get the sense the Bears want to pay that kind of money for a No. 2 QB.
What are the chances that James Brown is the starter at OG week 1?
Jeff Dickerson (2:25 PM)
At this point, I can't rule it out.
Bob (Tinley Park, IL)
Are the Bears publicly confirming that Webb will be the starting RT in 2013? If so, isn't that just moving the problem to the other side?
Jeff Dickerson (2:27 PM)
Not that he's starting, but that he's moving over to compete at RT.
do you think the bears can win without Urlacher?
Jeff Dickerson (2:28 PM)
Sure. But I think it would be a smart move to bring Urlacher back, for at least one more season. I believe he can still play. And if Urlacher is healthy, he can really help the Bears out on defense.
Do you think Jay Cutler is the Bears future, or do you think the new coaches are going to look in a new direction?
Jeff Dickerson (2:31 PM)
It's so hard to find starting QBs in this league, that I'm sure the Bears would love to see Cutler blossom into a star QB worthy of a long-term and lucrative contract extension. But he's not there yet. So because of that uncertainty, the Bears must keep their options open in the event the Cutler thing doesn't work out.
Michael (Lake Villa)
Any chance the Bears can land another free aganet OL like Vollmer or Smith?
Jeff Dickerson (2:31 PM)
Don't think they have the money available at the moment to make that work from a salary cap perspective.
Seriously Jeff, LB is so thin its scary. The Bears basically have no starting Mike at this point. Are they seriously prepared to be this stingy with Urlacher? The draft can't help that much that quickly can it? Especailly with the scheme they run?
Jeff Dickerson (2:33 PM)
Chris, I hear you. In my opinion, the Bears should've made an effort to match the deal Nick Roach got from the Raiders. But what's done is done. The Bears have not drafted well at linebacker since Briggs came out in 2003. Guess that's going to have to change.
You don't see many defensive players taking hits from RBs like the "defenseless" receivers are. What is the reasoning behind the proposed RB rule?
Jeff Dickerson (2:35 PM)
Rich McKay, the NFL's competition committee chairman, said it's a player safety issue.
Is it too soon to write off Carimi? I feel like his off-season development has been hindered with the lockout and rehabbing the knee injury. I've heard on ESPN 1000 that he could be a training-camp casualty.Also, do you think there's a chance the Bears draft/move up to draft Chance Warmack? He's a biggun'.
Jeff Dickerson (2:37 PM)
I'm not writing him off, but if Carimi doesn't show them anything at guard or tackle this summer, what else can they do? He's not promised a roster spot. I hope it works out, because I would hate to have seen this team waste another first round pick on a guy who fails to live up to expectations. I have no doubt the Bears will look at the available guards, but I don't know if they're going to move up.
Junior ( Chicago) [via mobile]
What's a bigger need as of right now LB or OL? There should be a top talent available at # 20.
Jeff Dickerson (2:38 PM)
I'd take an OL if the right one is still on the board at No. 20.
At this point what are the odds that Devin Hester starts training camp with the Bears?
Jeff Dickerson (2:39 PM)
I would say the odds are pretty good. Unless there has been a dramatic shift in thinking since the start of free agency, I think Hester is safe.
Should us fans be worried that Trestmans staff is focusing too much around Cutler and the offense? There's already alot invested in Cutler and it hasn't panned out like we all have hoped. Chicago has always been known as a defensive threat. I hope they don't lose sight of that.'
Jeff Dickerson (2:42 PM)
I guess you can say the Bears tried to win a Super Bowl with a defensive oriented team for the last nine years and it didn't work. Maybe it's time to try a different approach.
J(work) [via mobile]
Maybe I'm a noob, but with all this talk about Roach, did the bears use the franchise tag on the right person?
Jeff Dickerson (2:43 PM)
I don't view Roach is a franchise tag candidate. The only Bears' UFA worthy of the tag was Melton, although it's a big cap hit at $8.45 million.
Any chance Ogletree will be available to us in the first, and if so should we take him?
Jeff Dickerson (2:48 PM)
Ogletree is solid player, but is anybody else concerned that he got a DUI before the NFL combine?
Jeff Dickerson (2:52 PM)
Sorry. Just got the contract numbers for Nick Roach. 4 years, $3.25 million average per year, $3.185 million signing bonus and $5 million total guarantee.
Jeff Dickerson (2:53 PM)
Thanks everybody. I have to go write that story. We'll talk again soon. Enjoy the rest of your day.